Lies the Spiritual Strength of Metropolitan Anthony of Blessed
"He was well-taught by the Grace of the Spirit that the
leader of the Church must concern himself not only with the
Church entrusted to him by the Spirit, but with the whole
Church in the whole world; this he learned from the holy prayers.
If need be, says St. Eustacius, to pray for the universal
Church from one end of the world to the other, and expecially
to have care for Her in Her entirety,if one must, says St
Eustacius, to equally tend to all (churches) and have concern
These words of praise of St. John Chrysostom for St. Eustacius
of Antioch are entirely applicable to Blessed Metropolitan
Anthony of Kiev. He was truly a universal saint, immersing
himself in all the questions of church life the world over,
carrying within himself all her ailments, bearing virtually
their entire weight on his shoulders.
Still a young bishop from Ufim, his soul suffers from the
divisions in the Near East and offers Patriarch Joachim means
for their removal.
Soon after he turns his attention to south-western Russia,
beyond his own Volyn Diocese and in every way seeks to reestablish
Orthodoxy in Galizia and Carpathian Russia.
At the same time he concerns himself with the problem of ending
a schism, contacting an archbishop of the Old Believers, and
at the same time corresponds with representatives of the Anglican
faith for clarification the possibility of unifying them to
All aspects of church life attract the mental gaze of the
bishop, but he approaches them not only with his mind but
through his whole being.
Having deep faith in the final victory of Truth, he also profoundly
suffers all the misfortunes of the Church.
His personality did not exist outside of the Church and almost
reflected the Church in itself.
Every Orthodox person was dear to him, no matter his nationality
or origin. To everyone who needed him he was a kind father
and wise mentor. To everyone who came to him for spiritual
advice he treated as a spiritual relative--organic family
relations ceased to exist for him after his taking on monasticism.
He felt obligated to help all who turned to him for support
and aid as to a neighbor, often giving away the last thing
he had, and often experienced need himself for that reason.
This attitude towards others was not artificial or forced.
It came from the depth of his existence and had its roots
in a deep faith and devotion to God. Loving Christ since childhood
and wishing to follow Him from the days of his youth, he succeeded
spiritually, achieving a lofty spiritual maturity from an
early age. Possessing a great mind and being multitalented
by nature, after a splendid general education, he studied
the theological sciences with such zeal that he seemed to
satiate himself with theology, combining it with an irreproachable
moral life and he became a source of spiritual wisdom and
virtually issued forth streams of theology, sating his spiritual
children with God's grace.
His attitude towards others was always simple, natural, and
there was never any artificial sugariness.
Assuming the most important for man was his spiritual progress
and the salvation of his soul, he labored towards it even
when he was approached with questions on daily life, examining
all acts and deeds from the point of view of spiritual gain
and tried to lead not only towards advantage in daily life
but also for spiritual value.
For this reason he often seemed curt in his attitude towards
others, and some who saw him for the first time were baffled
by his seeming roughness.
But while approaching him, or rather, while approaching him
with one's soul, everyone felt that within Vladyka Anthony
lay a fervent fatherly love towards others, which parents
sometimes must hide beneath seeming strictness.
Metropolitan Anthony could affect peoples soul especially
strongly thanks to the purity of his heart. Having given his
heart to God from his youth, he preserved it whole until the
end of his life, and while still bound to his body devoted
himself to the spiritual world. He himself strove more and
more towards the world on high, and he drew everyone he met
towards it, invisibly acting upon them with his purity and
the loftiness of his spirit.
Gradually separating himself from everything worldly, devoting
himself entirely to God and "living in God" (I John
4:3), he became a strong advocate of Faith, and holding each
and all in his heart, like a magnet he attracted those who
sought salvation, elevating them towards the learning of God's
Towards the 50th anniversary of episcopal service of the
Blessed Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky)--1956.